Chandaria's empire is a vertically integrated
outfit comprising five large manufacturing companies with
a turnover of Kshs 20m a month. They include Chandaria Industries
Ltd, a leading paper products manufacturer in the country,
, Chandaria Paper
Mills Ltd which manufactures tissue paper and toilet
rolls: , and Chandaria
Industries Tanzania Ltd. Other companies in the group
and Two other companies,
Chandaria holdings Ltd and Chandaria
Investments Ltd have extensive interest in property
and other investments.
The Chandaria group today comprises half-a-dozen-odd
companies that are fairly integrated with a total investments
outlay of around Ksh 80million in both plant and buildings.
More than a dozen products, which, between them, command a large
portion of the market for the things, and a staff of 400. Chandaria's
outfit was close by and had to go to Ruaraka in Nairobi along
Baba Ndogo Road area. Chandaria's group have fought for the
provision of decent services, water and sewage and so on. Often
paying pat of the cost at Ruaraka, the manufacturing and market
penetration of toilet rolls, other toiletries, adding, telex
and other machine rolls, straws, corrugated cartons, and other
products grew fast, accompanied by investment in plant and building,
and in the staff outlay, its sister Amalgamated Industries Ltd.
Chandaria paper mills now supplies its sister companies with
most of their raw material requirements. The plant capacity
caters better for its growing outside customers who include
Colour packing Co. Ltd. The group now owns half of its stock.
Mr Chandaria has kept the ownership of the group "in the
family". Most of the stock in all the companies is in the
hands of MM and his two sons, Dinesh and Mahesh. Chandaria Charitable
Trust Fund is helping company workers get company housing gives
food and medical aid to children in the Baba Ndogo area.
Chandaria came to Kenya 43 years ago to work for his maternal
uncle who owned a hardware shop in Mombasa. After working for
three years as a shop attendant in his uncle’s shop, Chandaria’s
entrepreneural urge started showing when he decided to start
his own business. He started what he calls a “10 by 10”
shop selling sweet to schoolchildren. He would work in his uncle’s
shop during the day and do his business in the evening. After
operating the business for about three years, Chandaria made
enough money to start a clearing and forwarding company. From
there he moved into the transport business. He purchased a truck
to transport goods from the port to Mombasa town. He also started
to import small quantities of consumer goods, which he sold
to wholesalers and shopkeepers.
In 1952 he started manufacturing drinking straws using his savings,
as banks would not lend him money as they considered him a “small
timer”. He established the company at the cost of Kshs.
20,000 and operated the machine himself, as he did not have
enough money to pay wages. Since he was the only manufacturer
of drinking straws at that time, the business was very profitable.
In 1958, Chandaria started a company by the name of Chandaria
Industries Ltd with the aim of manufacturing paper products. At
this point the banks recognised his creditworthiness and were
willing to advance him both short and long term loans. He established
a Kshs. 0.5m and then thought of diversifying into chicken wire
and chain linking and opened a small plant for this purpose.
In the course of his operations, Chandaria realized he was using
large quantities of cartons for packaging, and hence, he saw
the opportunity of establishing a carton manufacturing plant
and in 1972, Chandaria incorporated Amalgamated Industries Ltd,
which owns a carton plant.